Posted on May 14, 2017 by
With 300 million daily users, 95 million photos uploaded a day and 4.2 billion likes a day, there’s ample opportunity for Instagram engagement. These statistics come from Social Media Today and clearly demonstrate the tremendous reach and usage of Instagram. But, how do you cut through the noise of those 95 million daily uploads and bubble to the top of the feed for your most valuable followers and potential customers and clients? How do you gain a loyal and engaged following to help grow your brand and your business? These questions are increasingly more important since Instagram changed its algorithm last year and reordered posts in feeds from chronologically based to popularity based. We have written about Instagram for business in the past, and we encourage you to start there if you haven’t already. Once established on the social network, consider these ten tips to show up and increase engagement on Instagram.
Discover Instagram Pods
Instagram pods, networking groups created and managed through direct messages (DM) on Instagram, gather like-minded Instagrammers who follow one another, like and comment on posts. Pods came about specifically to combat Instagram’s algorithm update and enhance the popularity of posts. While each pod has its own specific set of rules, all include about 15 Instagrammers (the number corresponds to the maximum number of people on a DM) with the expectation that all members will engage with each other to boost the popularity of posts. When a pod member uploads a new post, he or she shares the post in the pod so the liking and commenting may commence. The savviest of podsters belong to more than one Instagram pod to maximize engagement.
As you can imagine, keeping up with just one pod—especially if pod member post multiple times a day—can be exhausting. But, if your business depends, or wants to depend, on Instagram for business, it may be worth a try!
A slew of Instagram analytics tools exists to tell users the best days and times to post based on follower engagement and activity. Some tools prove easier to use than others, and each provides different views and details. Consider testing a couple of analytics apps for yourself. Use the application’s recommendations for a given period of time and then assess if the insights yield useful direction for upping your Instagram engagement. We think you will find analytics useful.
Here are a few tools we like:
Add a Question or Call to Action
Adding a question or a call to action (CTA) in each post also serves as a great tactic to increase Instagram engagement. Rather than simply liking a post, a follower seems more likely to comment when they can easily think of something to say… like answering a quick or entertaining question. What do you think of that tip?
Comment or Like a New Follower
When you notice you have a new follower, do your research. Do you like the posts? Is this a person or business you want to know better? Might this person or business be a potential customer or client? If so, follow them back and even comment on a few posts. Acknowledging a follower in such a way garners additional interest and increased loyalty; engage with those who engage with you on Instagram to bump up activity and interactions.
Respond to Comments
Nobody wants their comments ignored, either in real life or on Instagram. Take the time to recognize legitimate follower comments and always respond promptly. Granted, the more followers and commenters, the harder to keep up with this practice. However, ensure you reciprocate engagement on Instagram as much as possible; keep up your end of the conversation, so they will keep commenting!
Interestingly, posts that include location tags see 79% more engagement on Instagram. Adding locations in our posts and client posts has brought more engagement to our accounts. And, we find this especially true for locally-based businesses. A pretty easy tip to tackle, right? Start adding location ASAP!
Experiment with Contests
Contests and giveaways serve as fantastic tactics to generate buzz and boost engagement on Instagram. No doubt you’ve seen a few in your social media journey, and you’ve probably even entered a couple, right?. Experiment with different types of contests or giveaways to get your followers talking and to attract new followers. Wondering where to start? We like HubSpot’s 10-step guide to help you get going.
Insert Link in Bio
Often, posts on Instagram point to stories on a blog or other media. Try adding a link to that longer content source in your bio, and indicating in your post “see link in bio.” The more you share with your followers, either directly on Instagram or through linked assets with a deeper dive on the content, the more willing they will be to trust you and engage with you. However, do remember to change the link to each new post!
Try Instagram Stories
Have you taken Instagram Stories for a spin yet? Stories allow you another way to reach your followers and encourage engagement on Instagram. We have also found that sometimes a post won’t show up in the regular feed, but a story shows up in the story feed. So, adding stories along with your regular posts increases the opportunity to show up and, subsequently, increase follower engagement.
Consider an Auto Like Bot
To quickly ramp up the number of followers and, hopefully, subsequent engagement based on our other tips, consider an auto like bot. While different services target different items, you set your auto like strategy based on the types of followers you wish to attract: by location or by hashtag. Note that your hashtag strategy needs to be carefully considered and refined regularly; you want hashtags where your potential customers and clients hang out, but those hashtags might not be the ones in their own posts. It’s tricky! Once your strategy is set, the bot then goes to work and likes accounts for you. The more you like and follow other accounts, the more they will like and follow you.
Take a look at RoboLike, an easy-to-use auto bot for both Instagram and Twitter engagement. Keep in mind; we don’t recommend using bots that automatically comment; they often leave awkward comments on posts.
Do you use any of these tactics, or others, to increase your Instagram engagement? What are your best practices to get your followers commenting and interacting with you? We’d love to hear!